The Department of Civil Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore Campus, conducted an interactive talk session with Dr. E. Sreedharan, on February 26, 2018. He received a very warm welcome from the professors and students alike.
Dr. E. Sreedharan is an Indian civil engineer and a retired Indian Engineering Service(IES) officer popularly known as the "Metro Man". He is credited for changing the face of public transport in India with his leadership in building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro while he served as the managing director of Delhi Metro between 1995 and 2012.
Dr. Sreedharan began his session by talking about the Konkan railway project which he stressed as being one of the most difficult projects he has ever worked on. He said that the Western Ghats posed as a very difficult terrain with adverse soil conditions, ranging from being hard on the outside to having a “toothpaste like” consistency as they bored through. Apart from that, the path was placed with 93 tunnels through an aggregate length of 85.5 kms along with 158 major and 1,600 minor bridges athrough the 738km long path. The Konkan railway line, he mentions, is the only one which can run trains at 160km/hr.
The Delhi metro is another major success story of his career. Unlike Kolkata metro, which took 22 years to construct a 17 km rail with 15 times the normal cost, the first phase of the Delhi metro which covered 65kms in length was scheduled to finish within time frame of 10 years. Once Dr. Sreedharan took over the leadership, the duration was further compressed to 7 years and 3 months.
He credits the success of his projects to 4 cardinal principles that he religiously follows and advocated others to follow as well. They include punctuality, integrity, professional competence and social accountability. He finished his talk by asserting that his achievements were a part of his service to the nation and urged the students to follow this example in the future.